News / USA

Obama Campaigns for Early Childhood Education

U.S. President Barack Obama reads a card during a game with children in a per-kindergarten classroom at College Heights early childhood learning center in Decatur, Georgia, February 14, 2013.
U.S. President Barack Obama reads a card during a game with children in a per-kindergarten classroom at College Heights early childhood learning center in Decatur, Georgia, February 14, 2013.
TEXT SIZE - +
Kent Klein
— U.S. President Barack Obama was on the road again Thursday, seeking public support for increasing government spending on early childhood education. Obama is campaigning for the proposals he laid out in Tuesday’s State of the Union speech.

The president visited a preschool in the southern city of Decatur, Georgia, where he played games with small children and spoke to adults about the importance of early childhood education.  

“Study after study shows that the earlier a child begins learning, the better he or she does down the road," said President Obama. "But here is the thing: We are not doing enough to give all of our kids that chance.”

Obama said the gap in academic achievement between poor and wealthier students in high school has its roots in children as young as three and four-years-old.  

“Most middle-class parents cannot afford a few hundred bucks a week for private preschool," said Obama. "And for the poor children who need it the most, the lack of access to a great preschool education can have an impact on their entire lives.  And we all pay a price for that.”

The president’s plan would enlarge the existing Head Start program, in which the government pays for public preschool for four-year-olds from low-income families.  The federal government and all 50 states would fund the expanded program.

Obama wants to let communities and child care providers compete for grants to serve children ages three and younger.

White House officials say the president will detail how much the program will cost when he sends his 2014 budget proposal to Congress in March.

Obama’s second term agenda includes redesigning and improving America’s high schools, and more government help in paying for college.

Some Republican lawmakers say they are skeptical about the president’s plan.  John Kline, who leads a House of Representatives committee on education, said the government has a poor record of managing early childhood education programs.

While the president was advocating increased public spending on education, his education secretary, Arne Duncan, was on Capitol Hill, urging senators to prevent pending budget cuts.

Duncan said the potential reductions could devastate current students and hurt the nation’s economy for years to come.  He said cutting the budget for early childhood education would be “education malpractice.”

You May Like

Analysts Warn of Regional Proxy Conflict in Afghanistan

Analysts warn if Kabul’s neighbors do not start to cooperate, competing desires for influence could deteriorate into a bloody proxy war in the country More

Saudi Intelligence Chief Replaced

Bandar bin Sultan came under criticism for supporting al Qaida, prompting King Abdallah to wrest Syria operations away from him in February, handing them to Interior Minister Prince Mohammed bin Nayef More

Poetry Magazine editor Don Share talks what makes a good poem with VOA's David Byrd

What makes a good poem? And is poetry as viable an art form as it once was? To find out, VOA's David Byrd spoke to Don Share, the editor of Poetry Magazine. More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid